Effects of forestry on emission of CO2 from boreal lakes

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap


Inland waters have long been neglected in the global carbon cycle. They represent only 2,8%

of the land area, but it has come clear that inland waters play a key role in the transformation

of terrestrial fixed carbon to the atmosphere. Human activities do have an impact on the

carbon cycling and it is important to understand how these changes affects natural

biogeochemical and climatological processes. The purpose of this report was to investigate

how forestry impacts the emission of carbon dioxide from boreal lakes and to evaluate which

role lakes play in the global carbon cycle. The study was accomplished as a literature study

and the search words that have been used are carbon cycling, carbon dioxide, forestry, boreal

lakes, dissolved organic carbon and pCO2. The results show that in many studies does

forestry increase the export of dissolved organic carbon from terrestrial environments to

boreal lakes. This increase subsidies the net heterotrophy in boreal lakes, making them net

sources of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The processes behind increased concentrations

and emissions are however complex and factors like local topography, hydrology and climate

are thought to have impacts on how much carbon dioxide that is produced at a given level of

dissolved organic carbon. Forestry seems to have an increasing effect on the carbon dioxide

emissions, but the key drivers behind this process are expressed differently between regions

and the reasons underlying these differences remain to be explored in order to make precise

global carbon models.

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